NLN Aurora Briefs – March 2, 2015

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The high speed wind stream from the coronal hole is living up to expectations once again. G1 storming conditions were observed for a period of about 8 hours during the previous 24 hour period. Several great photos of northern lights from high latitudes were getting lots of retweets on Twitter.

The storming at the beginning of the period was mostly due to the passing of the solar sector boundary and Earth’s move into the negative polarity stream from the southern CH HSS. Wind speed increased to around 550 km/s, density was in the 8-12 p/cm3 range, and Bt reached 14. All together, those helped the KP reach 5.33.

In the second half of yesterday UTC, KP values decreased as the density decreased. Now, right at the end of the UTC period, wind speed is increasing again. NOAA has predicted wind speeds could reach as high as 700km/s over the next 24 hours. Currently wind speed is around 500. If wind speed increases that much we could possibly even see G2 storming, so stay tuned.

Here’s a current snapshot of the solar wind data, it’s looking good for the potential of high KP in the near future. Screenshot from spaceweatherlive.com

Solar data shows good potential for northern lights over the next several hours as wind speed increase.
Solar data shows good potential for northern lights over the next several hours as wind speed increase.

Happy Hunting!

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